This is the post where I share all about the things I’ve learned, things I’ve accomplished, things I love, and anything else I want to share from the previous month.
My goal in these posts is to encourage you to set and pursue your own personal goals even if they don’t always turn out like you planned. I also hope to share what I’m learning to give you some new things to consider and ponder. Knowledge is power, right?
I have found the practice of tracking and thinking about my accomplishments and growth over the past month to be such a valuable practice. I highly recommend that you write down the things you do and learn throughout the month and then sit and process that information to reinforce the growth and development you are experiencing.
What I’m Learning
This is by far my most favorite section of these posts and my most favorite thing to track throughout the month. I constantly read or hear quotes and tidbits of information that I want to remember. Or I think and ponder things and want to remember what I’ve thought and decided. And now that I have a place to write them down (in my bullet journal) each month, I’m actually remembering these things and putting them into practice in my life. I love sharing these tiny little truth bombs that stick out to me each month.
- If whatever you are writing doesn’t move you, throw it away. If it doesn’t move you, it won’t move anyone else. (paraphrase from Brennan Manning)
- Addiction – it’s not about the food, the drug, the alcohol, the social media. It’s about how you’re using it.
- The finger of God never points to where the hand of God hasn’t already made a way – Mandisa.
- Don’t be scary when you’re scared – Brene Brown.
- Serve the community and the business opportunities will come – Melissa Hartwig.
- What people want from you is value, not an education – Sean Edwards
- The path to success is paved with failures – Brooke Castillo.
- Where empathy is present, apathy cannot exist – Jessica Honegger.
- You can’t blame your way to freedom – Mike Foster.
- I am not in the fat loss, body shaming, never good enough camp. I will not preach the message that you need to lose weight or look a certain way, be a specific size in order to be successful, acceptable, or healthy. My message is simply one that leads us to be healthy, energetic, full of life and spark, strong, and happy. You don’t need to be a certain weight or pant size to achieve these things. It will look different for all of us (what we specifically have to do to find this health/energy/happiness) because we all have different and unique bodies. But it is achievable and available to everyone. I can promise you though, this version of success will never, ever be achieved if our focus is constantly on weight loss, fat loss, shaming our bodies, or in any other way not accepting and loving who we are right now. In short, if you say/think “I will love/accept myself when…” then you will have a near impossible time at finding success and happiness. (this was a totally random brain dump thought I had when listening to someone else talk about weight loss)
- You can have great conversations about faith and other issues with great curiosity and without judgment.
- Stop deciding/acting based on how you feel and instead die to yourself and do what is right. (very paraphrased idea from my pastor, Sam Barrington)
- Emotion creates a motion. If you don’t feel something, you don’t do something.
- Lead with empathy. When something makes you uncomfortable it is a call to learning. Instead of jumping to judgment, start with seeing things from their perspective.
- If you’re gonna be an artist, don’t be a babysitter or defender of your art. Put it out and move on to create the next thing (paraphrase from Glennon Melton).
Things I Accomplished This Month
September wasn’t the most exciting month for accomplishing huge things. Mostly I finished up my training (which is really just maintenance at this point) for a couple half marathons I planned to run in October. I ran a total of 68 miles for the month, which is still a bit on the low end, but good enough for me.
This was the first month that I struggled to keep up with my pushups goal. I’ve been adding 5 each month since January and all along by the end of the month, I can do all of my goal number of pushups in one attempt. This month I fell short on that. I can still do my planned 40 pushups, but I usually have to take a 30 second to one-minute break before I can eek out the last few pushups. Forty pushups is a lot of pushups!
I finished several books that I had previously started. This month I read:
Undaunted: Daring to do what God has called you to do by Christine Caine – I loved reading Christine’s stories in this book and learning more about her. The message was good, but for some reason, I mostly just felt like it was an interesting book but I was expecting it to be a more motivating/inspiring read.
God Loves You: He always has-He always will by Dr. David Jeremiah – There were good parts to this book and then there were terrible parts that I completely skipped. I so wished that the good parts would outweigh the bad, but I was really bothered by the bad parts. He talks for over two chapters about abortion which felt completely unnecessary and unrelated. I’m not a pro-abortion person by any means, but I was very disturbed by how much time he spent on the topic like it was such a huge issue relating to God’s love for us. I wanted a book that really helped me understand God’s love for me and his many tangents were too distracting.
The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith – I stayed up far too late one night reading this book. It was a good and fun read if you like historical romance.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I listened to the audiobook version and it literally took me months and months to get through. It is a very long book. It was an interesting story, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it as much as I usually do with fiction so I just kept forgetting about it.
We started hosting a small group in our home each week and it is going better than I expected. As I mentioned in last month’s wrap up, our group is a “family” group, so I was very nervous about having kids attend the group. Will the adults even get a chance to have a real conversation? Will the kids get along with each other or get hurt or be bored? There were a lot of what if’s and fears. But also a lot of excitement over the possibility of developing good relationships and connections in a group like this.
I’m happy to report that our group is going very well! The kids are loud and they often interrupt. We’ve had a few minor injuries (cars launching at heads), but nothing major. The adults have had a chance to discuss some really important topics (mostly related to parenting) and I’m loving the community we are building. And the kids think this is the best thing ever. What kid wouldn’t be excited to have 12 friends come over to play every single week?
It is stressful to have to get our house “company ready” each week, but my standards for what that looks like are quite low. We are inviting 23 people over, mostly kids. It’s just going to get messy, so it doesn’t need to be spotless beforehand. It’s hard to get our kids home from school and fed some dinner before everyone arrives. And I’m always nervous about making sure we have a good topic to discuss. But so far, I think it’s totally worth it. And one of the ladies in the group has offered to host at her home a few times, so this week I don’t even have to clean my house (although my cleaning lady is still coming, so I’ll have to pick up for her).
My plan for October is to run two half marathons. Spoiler alert, since I’m so late in getting this post up, I’ve already run them and they were both wonderful. More info in next month’s wrap up which hopefully won’t come out so late.
I’m also soldiering on with my pushups goal. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I’ll be able to do 45 pushups in a row, or at least close to it!
My goal is to read at least three books during the month of October. Since September was all about finishing books I had started, I’ll be starting fresh. I have a giant “to be read” list and would love to plow through them, but I’m purposely taking things slow so I can really learn from the books I’m reading (mostly non-fiction).
I’m also working on writing more often again. Sometimes life gets busy or distracting and I don’t write much for weeks, but my goal is to write at least every weekday. Writing not only helps me create content for this blog, but writing is my best way to really learn and grow, so I try to do it very consistently.
The month of October is my anniversary of starting this blog! I’m really doing a lot of thinking and researching for the future direction of this site. I have loved writing here over the last four years, and lately, I have been feeling ready to make this space even better. Stay tuned to find out how you can help me improve this site to make it an even more valuable resource.
I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the random things I’m loving each month. These might be purchases I’ve made that are changing my life, resources I’ve found that are incredibly helpful, or just things I’ve discovered that make me happy.
My new Garmin vivosmart HR+ watch – I’ve been wanting to get a new fitness tracker/wearable for months, but couldn’t decide which one to get. I finally forced myself to decide and I couldn’t be happier. I love this thing. I no longer have to take my phone on my runs unless I want music. And the amount of data I get about my runs with just a push of a button is amazing. Love, love, love. It’s also purple, which makes it the best thing ever.
A new Garmin vivovit Jr. for my daughter – You know you’re a fitness family when everyone gets a fitness tracker! My daughter has been asking for one for months, so we decided to get her this one for her birthday. She thinks it is so fun and it links with mine so we can have a daily step challenge with each other (or anyone with a Garmin that I add to her “family”). The watch also has a timer and stopwatch feature that have been incredibly helpful. She can now keep track of her own reading minutes, she sets a timer for brushing her teeth, and any other time she wants to keep track of time. It also has a silent alarm (vibrating) so I don’t even have to wake her up anymore.
Method Wood for Good Daily Cleaner – As I mentioned above, I have a cleaning lady (she’s actually one of my favorite people on earth, as a friend, not just because she cleans my house). But that means I don’t do all that much cleaning. So a while back we bought some dusting spray, it was a cheap off-brand, but who cares. Cheap is good. Until I went to clean my own office the other day (my cleaning lady doesn’t clean my office because I’m always in it working when she comes). And the smell of this awful, off-brand, super cheap dusting spray was horrendous! I have no idea why my friend never told me that we bought disgusting crap. Poor girl has been cleaning with the stinky stuff for months. So, I immediately had to jump online and find something else. I found this Method stuff and it smells ah-ma-zing! I now spray down my dining room table multiple times a day because I love using it and smelling it so much! Apparently, I need to replace all my cleaning products and maybe I’ll actually clean once in a while, except I won’t ever get rid of my cleaning girl so what’s the point?
My new Shark Vacuum – I guess this was the month for cleaning supplies. When my husband and I got married 10 years ago we split up our wedding money. I bought a Dyson vacuum and he bought a fancy TV (I’m sure you can already tell who is the smart one in our relationship). My Dyson has been wonderful all this time, although I haven’t really used it much in the last 5 years since I hired my cleaning girl, but whatever, she likes it too. It’s purple and it cleans my house, so I consider it amazing whether I use it or not. Anyways, my girl has been telling me that the Dyson just wasn’t living up to its potential lately. My husband tried to work out its issues, but it didn’t help. We took it to a repair shop where they wanted $250 to get it back in working order. Say what? Umm, no, not putting that much money into a ten-year-old vacuum. So, I had to find a new one. I almost bought another Dyson, but my cleaning girl says she prefers the Shark vacuums, and they are cheaper (like, a lot cheaper), so sold! Bonus points for the fact that it’s still a purple vacuum. And I’ve even used it a few times all by myself. Go me.
I’d love to hear what you have been learning, accomplishing, and finding this past month. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to cheer you on as you work toward your goals.